Whole Foods plans for store in South Hills

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Whole Foods Market has finally signed a lease for a location in the South Hills, an area in the Pittsburgh market that the natural foods grocer has been targeting for several years.

The Austin, Texas, chain's third area location could open on or before the fall of 2015 at the corner of Washington and Fort Couch roads, not far from the South Hills Village mall, according to an announcement released Wednesday.

The store will be part of a development by KGA Partners, headed by managing partner Hal Kestler, on a site formerly occupied by Consol Energy. A two-story office building there is now being demolished.

Whole Foods is slated to cover 40,000 square feet and have more than 200 parking spots.

The Siena @ St. Clair development will have an additional 100,000 square feet of retail, including restaurants and stores, according to Mr. Kestler. He said other tenants are currently being lined up.

"Opening in South Hills is an excellent opportunity for us to plant solid roots, encourage economic growth, job creation and community engagement. We are looking forward to joining the neighborhood and curating long-lasting relationships and partnerships in South Hills and its surrounding areas," said Scott Allshouse, Whole Foods Market Mid-Atlantic region president, in a prepared statement.

If the store is built, it will join a corridor that has already drawn a Trader Joe's store, which is already open, and the region's first Fresh Market, still in the works. Not far away, Giant Eagle operates one of its Market District stores.

Whole Foods entered the region in 2002 and not long ago opened a second location in Wexford. At one point, the grocer had plans to put a store in Collier, but that fell through.

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Teresa F. Lindeman: tlindeman@post-gazette.com or at 412-263-2018.


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